Los Angeles baseball fans completed the most successful sports boycott in recent memory. Now they might just own the team.
Although affluent men such as Mark Cuban, Dennis Gilbert, Larry King, Peter O'Malley and Eli Broad, among others, have been most mentioned as the top candidates to buy the Dodgers, it's not that far-fetched to think the very fans of the franchise could grab an ownership stake.
A 47-year-old owner of a Beverly Hills real estate development company is hoping to defy the odds and spearhead a fans' campaign to buy the Dodgers. Tom Hoffarth of the LA Daily News reports Stanley Stalford Jr., the man behind this idea, plans to shoot for the moon by getting two million shares sold at $500 each over the next few weeks. For those of you who are math-challenged, that will provide $1 billion.
As of right now, the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers are the only "community-owned" franchise in all of American major professional sports. Forbes reports there are close to 110,000 shareholders who vote to elect a board of directors.
Greta Van Susteren, a Packers shareholder and fan, says she supports the movement and would buy a share of the Dodgers. The Fox News commentator said Green Bay should be used as a model and it's worth a try.
Stalford is working with attorney Robert Burke and CPA Barry Goldstein to help move along the plan to let the
people own the beloved franchise that gave baseball Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and Vin Scully.
"We insure that the great players we already have, we keep for the long term," Stalford told the LA Daily News. "We're also going to heavily invest in the farm system. And we're going to embark on a five-year capital improvement of the stadium."
In addition to all that, Stalford is planning on a Dodgers-owned cable TV channel which could generate ad revenue. A master plan is expected to be completed by Friday.
Southern California baseball fans frustrated with the incompetent Frank McCourt let their voices be heard by making iconic Dodger Stadium a ghost town by midseason. The Dodgers, always near the top of baseball's attendance ranks, saw a 17.6 percent decline in announced attendance. The boys in blue drew 627,179 fewer fans in 2011, the biggest downturn in baseball. That backsliding was 46.4 percent worse than the next largest drop suffered by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Major League Baseball's rules don't outlaw citizen ownership; the NFL has now outlawed the practice but the Packers were grandfathered into the current system.
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